When I am not busy taking care of my two energetic little boys, or working on an interior design project~ I play in the kitchen! For the last 15 years, I have been juxtaposing new flavors and ideas; it’s finally time to document my recipes...

I believe in fresh & affordable meals.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

Colorful Holiday
So....at the "rents" this week celebrating Christmas-but still cooking away. My mom spent about 20 years of her life in the kitchen (I credit her with most of my knowledge), but these days she is perfectly happy with a pre-made Costco meal. Well, not this foodie! If I have time & good ingredients, I wanna make my own fresh, yummy food without a microwave.
We had some peppers that were starting to look like they were gonna go bad, a box of 2-day old brown rice from left over Thai food, and a pantry full of canned goods. So, a new stuffed pepper recipe was born.

3 bell peppers (any color)
1 cup brown rice
1 can of kidney or black beans (or any kind of bean for that matter)
1 can of vegetarian tortilla soup (or mix together canned tomatoes, corn and cumin)
1 cup yogurt (we had jalapeno yogurt from Costco- which was perfect. Substitute sour cream, ranch dressing, or plain yogurt mixed with salsa, sass it up with blended avo and/or jalapenos)
A handful of Mexican cheese
Carni's- Add cooked ground turkey or beef to your mix. Spice up your meat with cumin and salt and pepper or salsa.

Preheat oven to 400 deg.
Put brown rice, beans, and soup mix in soup pot on stove top over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Cut bell peppers in half, take off top and de-gut. Fill contents of pot inside the peppers, top with cheese (white mexi cheese would be super yum), and cook for 15 minutes on 400 deg.

Top peppers with avocado, and Yogurt (or S. Cream mix) and fiesta forever...we going to party....

OOOhhhh...for the leftovers- the stove top mix (minus peppers) is a really good dip (be sure to add something a lil creamy, like sour cream, cream cheese, or yogurt). Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Left overs- If you don't eat all your stuffed peppers, save em, dice up everything, and scramble with eggs. If you like meat, add breakfast sausage or chorizo (Trader J's makes a nice vegan chorizo). Top with cheese and salsa. Need to disguise it from your hubby who hates veggies and hates leftovers even more- wrap the egg mixture up in a tortilla (and put some extra cheese in there). See, this is how you can save on groceries...dinner becomes breakfast!

It does good for the body....

First of all, bell peppers are considered highly nutritious. Just munching a mere 3.5 ounces of raw bell pepper can provide a body with significant amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B6, beta-carotene, vitamin K, thiamine, and folic acid. Furthermore, bell peppers provide important antioxidant action that can help reduce the number of dangerous free radicals roaming around the body.
While all-around nutrition is essential to maintain good health, healing and health benefits can also be derived from bell peppers. The vitamin C and beta-carotene content of these peppers has been shown to help protect against cataracts. The capsaicin and flavonoids of bell peppers have also been helpful for preventing blood clot formation, which, in turn, provides a lower likelihood for stroke or heart attack. While people with elevated levels of cholesterol have been encouraged to consume chili peppers which are also incredibly healthful, some people might prefer to consume the milder flavors of bell peppers which can also help lower cholesterol levels.
Interestingly, when it comes to bell peppers, color can actually make a difference to your health. Red bell peppers have been shown to offer better protection against heart disease and even cancer. Red bell peppers have higher concentrations of nutrients than the others. While any color bell pepper will provide healthful properties, the red variety packs the most healthful punch. Their intense color can also add a bright splash to any dish.

Yogurt can give you flat abs.
Eat 18 ounces a day and you can drop a jeans size. People who ate that much -- in conjunction with cutting their total calories -- lost 22 percent more weight and 81 percent more belly fat than dieters who skipped the snack, according to research from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. They also retained one-third more calorie-torching lean muscle mass, which can help you maintain weight loss. "Fat around your waist produces the hormone cortisol, which tells your body to accumulate even more belly flab," says nutrition professor and lead study author Michael Zemel, PhD. When you eat yogurt, the calcium signals your fat cells to pump out less cortisol, making it easier for you to drop pounds, while the amino acids help burn fat.
2. Most brands of yogurt contain good-for-you bacteria.
The words "live and active cultures" on the container mean that your yogurt has probiotics, beneficial bugs that live in your digestive tract and help crowd out harmful microorganisms that can cause intestinal infections. (Only a very small number of companies put yogurt through a post-pasteurization process that kills off all bacteria.)
But many varieties now also contain special strains of probiotics meant to help regulate your digestion or strengthen your immune system. The research on them isn't conclusive, however. "If you suffer from a particular health problem, like bloating or diarrhea, it's worth trying one of these products for a couple of weeks to see if it helps," says FITNESS advisory board member Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD. Otherwise, save a few dollars and stick to conventional brands.
3. Yogurt is loaded with vitamins.
One serving is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Yogurt also contains B12, which maintains red blood cells and helps keep your nervous system functioning properly. "Vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products, such as chicken and fish, so strict vegetarians can easily fall short," says Jackie Newgent, RD, a FITNESS advisory board member and author of Big Green Cookbook. Eating more yogurt can help close the nutrient gap: An eight-ounce serving contains 1.4 micrograms of the vitamin, about 60 percent of what adult women need daily.

This dish is packed with powerful health benefits. Your body will be happy you consumed!!!! Since I cook with Beans sooo much, I will include the benefits of beans on a later recipe...

Cheers to your HEALTH!!!